Bond Lake Environmental &

Beautification Commitee 

HISTORY

Bond Lake Park is located on the site of a former quarrying operation owned by the Empire Limestone Division of the old Lackawanna Steel Mill.  Empire Limestone quarried high-grade limestone from the site from the 1890's until 1925.  The material was transported by rail for use in furnaces at the Lackawanna  Steel Mills. 

 

In 1919, Frederick Bond, Sr. a native of Buffalo, became manager of the quarry.  Escalating costs of hauling the limestone forced the closing of the quarry in 1925.  After its closing, the depressions left from quarrying operations began to naturally fill in with water, forming the lakes and ponds we see today.

 

In 1927, Bond purchased the quarry property for $15,000, planning to resell it for agricultural use.  Over the following years, most of the land was divided into 12 tracts and sold to various landowners for farming.  In the late depression years of the 1930’s, Bond offered the remaining 90 acres of land for sale to Niagara County as a park for $30,000, but the offer was never accepted.  Prior to his death in 1949, Bond sold the remaining property to a private resident of Niagara Falls for about $25,000.

 

In 1964, the county acquired the land through condemnation proceedings.  All 13 parcels were purchased for a total of $800,000, which was financed through State and local funds.  For the most part, the land remained undeveloped until 1976, when Legislator Richard Shanley suggested clearing park land for a ski slope, an idea that had failed to gain interest in the City of Lockport at the time.  15 acres were cleared by the Sheriff’s work program and within two years, Niagara County received a $1.162 million federal grant to develop a sports complex at the site.  Niagara County added $350,000 to construct the Warming House. 

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